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Hyung Jin does not consider himself a photorealist painter, for he does not pursue perfect registration of the true details of his models.
Rather, he strives to create figures that are more representative of an aesthetic utopia than real people. He seeks to express ideal beauty through a process of modification that may involve subtly enlarged eyes, narrowed chins, or skins that have a glazed appearance like in Oriental ceramics.
Hyung Jin stays far from Asian anime clichés, but his works are arguably Asian in the sense that they value spiritual experience over reality. As a global citizen and international artist, he transcends and merges the undercurrents of Western and Eastern artistic traditions in his own unique vocabulary of form and texture.
Unique images rather than extremely accurate depictions are what Hyung Jin is after. Working from a stance of realism, he wants the subjects in his works to evoke some atmosphere beyond the cool objectivity of photorealism. Perhaps ‘utopian realism’ covers his approach?
Hyung Jin used to teach art at Konkun University and Hansung University (his alma mater where he did his BFA and MFA degrees) in Korea, and all the models he worked with so far are his students.
His works are in the collections of individual collectors like Howard Tullman in Chicago and several art museums such as the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul, South Korea. He is represented by Bernarducci Meisel Gallery on 57th Street, New York City.